Professor's Forge Bladesmithing

Click here to edit subtitle

 

Processes and Tutorials

Curly Maple and Brass Sheath for Dao

The slideshow at the right shows many steps in the process of making a sheath out of curly maple and brass for a Ming Dynasty style dao. This involved cutting the wood, making a channel for the blade, gluing, shaping, sanding, polishing, staining, and then making, brazing, and engraving the brass fittings. Hopefully, these pictures can help someone else who is learning this craft. They also show how much work goes into something like this. The first picture shows my work table and, in fact, almost the entire workshop. Thanks for looking.






Pattern-welded, broken-back seax. This is 400 layers of 15n20 and low manganese 1075, in a traditional style. The handle is 6" long, which was common (relatively plain handle, bolsters but no guard, very long). Seaxs are quite hefty, general-purpose knives, but also sidearms. Free men were required to carry these for the defense of their own honor and for their tribe.











  • Finished Seax
    Finished Seax
  • Steel at final stacking for 400 layers (this is actually a different billet)
    Steel at final stacking for 400 layers (this is actually a different billet)
  • forge hot and with proper atmosphere for fluxless welding
    forge hot and with proper atmosphere for fluxless welding
  • chomper - the hydraulic press
    chomper - the hydraulic press
  • forged and ground. Drawfiling is important.
    forged and ground. Drawfiling is important.
  • after drawfiling, there are no low spots where horizontal grinder marks can be seen.
    after drawfiling, there are no low spots where horizontal grinder marks can be seen.
  • layout for bolster
    layout for bolster
  • scribe a deep centerline to help align center punch marks  for drilling.
    scribe a deep centerline to help align center punch marks for drilling.
  • this is not how to use a jjeweler's saw, but I was in a hurry and didn't set up the bench pin.
    this is not how to use a jjeweler's saw, but I was in a hurry and didn't set up the bench pin.
  • clean up the saw cut with a needle file
    clean up the saw cut with a needle file
  • hand polish and then 

fit.
    hand polish and then fit.
  • pommel plate is the same as the bolster. repeat earlier steps. Anneal prior to fitting.
    pommel plate is the same as the bolster. repeat earlier steps. Anneal prior to fitting.
  • first test fit. It is driven on, the high spots are filed away, and repeated.
    first test fit. It is driven on, the high spots are filed away, and repeated.
  • it fits! The process for the bolster was the same. So, I showed only one.
    it fits! The process for the bolster was the same. So, I showed only one.
Finished Seax
Finished Seax